Where to stay in Madeira: the best areas to go and visit

One of the first things to do, when you want organize a holiday on the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, is to find out which are the best areas to go and visit, but especially those most suitable for staying.

In this guide you will find all the information on best places to stay, but also useful advice on what are the best hotels and accommodations in every area. This will make it much easier to organize and plan a trip or vacation to Madeira.

The Madeira archipelago is located in the subtropical zone in the Atlantic Ocean and one of the autonomous regions of Portugal. Geographically in Africa, it is an ultra-peripheral region of the European Union. Known worldwide as the Pearl of the Atlantic, it is one of the main Portuguese tourist destinations.

The archipelago consists of four islands, two populated islands (Madeira and Porto Santo), and two unpopulated (Deserted and Wild). Most tourists choose to visit and stay on Madeira, the largest island, however Porto Santo can also be interesting to visit and stay, to enjoy a beautiful beach and the tranquility that reigns on the island.

La Laurissilva forest, classified by UNESCO as a world natural heritage, together with the colorful and spectacular landscapes are one of the main attractions of the island. Madeira is internationally recognized for its rich and diverse calendar of events, such as Carnival, the numerous festivals that take place throughout the year and the holidays associated with Christmas and New Year.

Il New Year it is the most famous event in Madeira and the most important of the year. The celebrations end with the grandiose fireworks display on the night of December 31, officially recognized by the Guinness World Record as the largest fireworks display in the world.

This destination is also known for its natural beauty and famous Madeira wine. Don't miss the characteristic customs and traditions of the island, such as the colorful Madeira ballet or even the famous "New Year's Eve" in the bay of Funchal, which lights up the whole island.

Best areas to sleep in Madeira

Thanks to the tourist development of the island in recent years, Madeira has awide and varied hotel offer, ranging from budget hotels to 5-star luxury hotels, from hostels to large hotel chains, but also campsites and bed & breakfasts.

Where to stay in Madeira: the best areas to go and visit
Map of the best areas to stay in Madeira

The area with the largest hotel offer is Funchal, the capital of the island. If you want to enjoy sun, beach and evil, it is certainly preferable to stay in a location on the south coast, such as Funchal. it is warmer and sunnier.

Funchal: the best area to stay

Where to stay in Madeira: the best areas to go and visit
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal - Photo by Istock

Funchal is the capital of the island of Madeira and the most important city of the archipelago. It is a modern city that has managed to keep its charm intact. AND the best place to sleep in Madeira, mostly if you visit the island for a few days or if you don't want to rent a car.

The city is famous for its historical heritage of great value and for the grandiose fireworks display of the night of December 31 to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. The city center is small enough to be explored easily on foot.

If you are undecided about where to stay or are visiting the island for the first time, choose a hotel in Funchal, you will be close to numerous attractions and you will lose less time to travel. In addition, the city offers many more things to do both day and night.

Among the activities not to be missed is the Funchal-Monte cable car, a cable car connecting in 15 minutes the historic center of Funchal to Monte, where the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Monte is located. The cost is 16 euros for adults and 8 euros for children (free for children from 0 to 6 years old), and along the way you can enjoy splendid panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

Staying here allows you to have a wide and varied hotel offer, therefore everyone will find the hotel or apartment that best suits their needs. The best areas to stay are: the historic center, Sao Martinho, and the areas of Se and Lido, near the coast.

The 10 best accommodations and hotels in Funchal

Hotel Sirius - economic solution

Dorisol Estrelicia - excellent value for money

Melia Madeira Mare - beautiful 5-star resort for a holiday with all the comforts

Hotel Catedral - good hotel in good location

Hotel Baia Azul - one of the most beautiful hotels

Suite Hotel Jardins Da Ajuda - excellent value for money

Residential Park - economic solution

Pestana Royal Premium All Inclusive Ocean & Spa Resort - the top for a holiday in Funchal

Muthu Raga Madeira Hotel - cheap and quality hotel

Allegro Madeira – Adults Only - for adults only, for romantic couple trips

Check rates and find accommodation or hotels in Funchal

Machico: convenient near the airport

Machico is the second largest city of the island of Madeira and the oldest settlement in Madeira. Located close to the airport, it's a good choice to stay if you don't want to rent a car.

The major ones tourist attractions in the area are the paths that lead to the mountains and the beautiful golden beaches, almost always with calm waters, ideal for those on holiday with family and children.

The hotel offer is decent, they can be found good hotels with average rates, but especially good restaurants for lovers of local cuisine.

Best accommodation and hotels in Machico

White Waters Hotel - excellent value for money

Residential Family 

Dom Pedro Madeira – All Inclusive

Residential Prism 

Check rates and find accommodation or hotels in Machico

Calheta: for families with children

Calheta is located on the southwestern coast of Madeira. The small marina “Calheta Beach” is of particular tourist interest, because the artificial bath and the beach was carved out of sand transported from the Sahara.

This is the only sandy beach along the southern coast. A place without a doubt ideal if you are traveling with family and small children. Also because there are various accommodations very suitable for children.

Best accommodation and hotels in Calheta

Calheta Beach – All Inclusive - High level services for guests and All Inclusive treatment

Tar mar Place - economic solution

Saccharum - the top for a great stay

Check rates and find accommodation or hotels in Calheta

Santa Cruz: a good alternative

Santa Cruz is one of the cities on the island with the largest number of tourist options, making it a good option to sleep and stay in Madeira, and for being close to the airport.

Best accommodation and hotels in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Village Hotel - excellent value for money

Residential Santo António - economic solution

Vila Gale Santa Cruz – All Inclusive

Albatroz Beach & Yacht Club - 5-star luxury hotel, the top for a holiday

Check rates and find accommodation or hotels in Santa Cruz

Caniço: the cheapest area

Caniço is a good place to sleep if they're looking for us beautiful tourist villages o cheap accommodation. The city is located and 15 minutes to Funchal and it is advisable to rent a car, to then move more easily on the island.

Best accommodation and hotels in Caniço

Canico Bay Apartments - beautiful tourist village with complete apartments, with kitchenette and dining area

Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden - great for couples and for those seeking relaxation

Dom Pedro Garajau - economic solution

Galo Resort Hotel Galosol - luxurious tourist village

Check rates and find accommodation or hotels in Caniço

Porto Santo Island: for relaxation

Porto Santo is a small island 9 km long, the northernmost and easternmost of the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. It is the second inhabited island of the archipelago, although the only significant settlement on the island is the town of Vila Baleira.

If you want to visit the island we recommend that you stay in Vila baleira. where most of the hotels are concentrated. Some hotels are also present in the area of ​​Cabeço da Ponta and Pedras Pretas.

Could be interesting to visit and stay on this island, also for a beautiful beach and for the tranquility that reigns on the island.

Check rates and find an accommodation or hotel on Porto Santo Island

when to walk the wood

The island of Madeira is famous for its mild climate all year round. Temperatures are pleasant in any month or time of the year, as if it were always spring. The excellent good temperatures, the mild sea water and the verdant vegetation, have led to define Madeira "the Atlantic garden".

If you go anyway for a beach holiday the summer period is preferred, from June to September, when the air and sea water temperatures are slightly higher.

To visit the beautiful landscapes of the island and the inland area, all year round is a good time for a wonderful holiday surrounded by nature, although spring and autumn are more suitable.

Finally, another beautiful moment for a Madeira holiday is during the holiday season, so you can participate in the famous New Year of Madeira, with its grandiose fireworks display.

How to get to Madeira

The island of Madeira is located about 500 km from the African coast and about 1.000 km from the European continent. You can reach the island from Spain by plane with a flight of around 4 hours, because you have to make a stopover in Portugal or Spain. If, on the other hand, you leave directly from an airport in these 2 countries, it takes from an hour and a half to two and a half hours of flight.


Where to stay in Madeira: the best areas to go and visit
Madeira Cable Car in Portugal - Photo from Istock
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